A railway footpath dubbed "the most dangerous level crossing in south east London" is set to be closed after a series of safety incidents.

The Angerstein level crossing in Charlton, which is used by nearly 700 people a day, has seen a number of near misses including a person carrying a baby.

Children playing on the tracks and an assortment of trespass incidents have led to train drivers having to apply their emergency brakes, and Network Rail say the closure is due to the safety risk it poses to users, passengers and rail workers.

They say the suggested closure will not be immediate, and the transport body say they will be in contact with local community groups who have opposed the closure of the crossing in the past.

But Network Rail say they are now proposing an alternative route for people using the crossing, diverting them along a 240-metre diversion (around a four-minute walk) via Farmdale Road and Fairthorn Road.

The Angerstein level crossing in Charlton - Emily Norton

The Angerstein level crossing in Charlton - Emily Norton

A detailed review of the crossing by Network Rail found that it posed the highest risk of 342 level crossings in the company’s Kent Route.

And the company say they are "committing to invest in the alternative route via Farmdale and Fairthorn Road, improving safety for users of the alternative route" whilst also keeping it step-free.

Farmdale Road / Google Maps

Farmdale Road / Google Maps

But a petition was actually set up opposing any plans to close the level crossing, described as a "historic and important pedestrian link."

The creator of the petition, Emily Norton, said the railway there is only in use for a few, very slow moving freight trains, but for pedestrian is an "important link that allows pedestrians to avoid the busy and polluted Woolwich Road."

"It is used every day by many local residents to access Westcombe Park Station," with Emily adding that is also an important part of a relatively car-free walking route to the retail parks of Charlton Riverside.

The petition also states that the crossing is one of only two such crossings left in London, and was subsequently listed by Greenwich Council as a heritage Asset of value to local people.

"The crossing is described as a 'Rare survival of a historic pedestrian route over a freight railway, still in regular use by residents for its original purpose - to avoid Woolwich Road - and as a route to Westcombe Park station. Railway also still in regular use for transport of aggregates around London'."

Fiona Taylor, Network Rail’s Route Director for Kent, said: “We have announced today our intention to close Angerstein level crossing near Charlton due to the safety risk it poses to users, passengers and our rail colleagues.

"Angerstein crossing is currently registered as the most dangerous of nearly 350 level crossings which we operate in Kent, with many incidents where drivers of trains had to apply their emergency brakes to avoid people on the track.

“The closure will not be immediate, and we will be in close communication with the local community about the alternative route which is chosen.

"We understand that many residents will be disappointed by this closure but their safety and that of passengers and rail colleagues is our priority.”